NSW: business fined $200,000 over workplace explosion

Date: 
Thursday, 23 November, 2017 - 11:00
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions
Industry news
Location: 
National News
New South Wales

A Wagga Wagga business and its director have been fined $200,000 after a man suffered severe burns in an explosion at a Tatton property.

The 47-year-old victim’s injuries meant he had to undergo extensive medical treatment, had experienced difficulty walking, and had lost movement in his hands, Sydney District Court was told.

Judge David Russell ordered CRS NSW to pay a $160,000 fine, with its director Jay Jenkins, 40, fined $40,000 over the incident which happened in early July 2015.

The victim was an innocent bystander who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, said NSW Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean.

“This man approached Jay Jenkins from a neighbouring property just as Jenkins was using a handheld LPG gas torch to soften bitumen,” Kean said.

“The bitumen was contained in a vehicle being used to seal a driveway, but an investigation by SafeWork NSW found Jenkins had modified the vehicle and made it unsafe.

“His dodgy actions led to an explosion and fireball, and had a shocking effect on another man’s life.”

The company and the director pleaded guilty to breaching the Work Health and Safety Act (NSW).